ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Pat McCrory has announced that CSX will open a new intermodal terminal in Edgecombe County.
Dubbed the Carolina Connector (CCX), the governor says it’s a critical infrastructure project that will bring jobs and economic opportunity to eastern North Carolina and position the state as a leader in enhanced freight movement.
CCX will transfer containerized cargo between trains and trucks, processing 26,000+ containers per year initially. Initial jobs created just in building the facility is expected to be around 250 to 300; they’ll be short-term jobs in engineering, technical services and construction. The hub is expected to create 1,500 jobs throughout North Carolina as a result of the terminal’s operations; that’s a conservative estimate.
“This historic project is part of our 25-year vision for transportation because it facilitates efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, which is critical for job creation and economic growth,” said Governor McCrory. “The Carolina Connector will be a game-changer for our state’s economy, supporting North Carolina’s agriculture, ports and position as the Southeast’s No. 1 state for manufacturing jobs.”
CSX is expected to invest $160 million in the project. A news release from the McCrory’s office said that CSX serves nearly two-thirds of the American population through a rail network spanning 23 states, two Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia. It said that In North Carolina, CSX maintains an intermodal terminal in Charlotte, bulk transfer terminals in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem and major rail yards in Hamlet and Rocky Mount.
CCX will directly employ 149 workers at salaries averaging $64,047 per year. The current average annual wage in Edgecombe County is $32,725.
“In partnership with the State of North Carolina and Rocky Mount, CSX is proud to bring this transformational project to eastern North Carolina which will provide cheaper, faster and more environmentally-friendly connections for North Carolina’s businesses and ports to domestic and international markets. Rocky Mount’s vision for economic development, strategic location on the CSX network, and our existing rail operations and long-standing community ties make it an ideal choice for the Carolina Connector,” said CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael J. Ward. “We look forward to partnering closely with the Rocky Mount community to create jobs and economic opportunities.”
“The Carolina Connector intermodal hub will do far more than provide new jobs in Rocky Mount,” said Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III. “It will enhance connections among suppliers and buyers in a way that spins off exciting opportunities for job growth throughout North Carolina.”
“The close proximity of Rocky Mount to CSX’s main north-south line, I-95 and the future I-87 and I-42 corridors, as well as convenient access to the Raleigh economic center made this an ideal location for a regional transportation hub,” N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. “This project builds on the investments we have made in our rail system, our ports and other infrastructure to help us meet growing logistics demands and improve the movement of goods throughout North Carolina.”
The hub is expected to open in 2020.